Site Feedback

Resolved questions
Is 's used on daily conversation to mean 'van' ? I mean can 's used in Dutch as in English. Bedankt.

For learning: Dutch
Base language: Dutch
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    's can be several things:

    1. Possessive (John's shirt = Jans shirt; the car's windshield = de auto's ruit)
    2. Contraction (It's three o'clock = het is drie uur; He's seen me = hij heeft me gezien)
    3. It can NOT denote a shortened word like "eens" in Dutch. A classic mistake is the phrase "Spring is in the air." Many Dutch speakers might hear "Spring 's in de lucht." rather than "De lente zit in de lucht."

    's is only used to mean 'van' with personal names or family words that end in a, i, o, u, y, e (when pronounced as a long 'ee'). For example:

    Renee's boek
    Opa's bril

    It's not used when a name ends in a short 'e' or in a consonant. Instead, it becomes only an s without the apostrophe:

    Mariannes fiets
    Douwes school
    Martijns schoenen

    When referring to other nouns, you wouldn't say "de auto's ruit". Rather, you'd say 'de ruit van de auto'. So no genetive with s or 's.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.